One of the most critically acclaimed and beloved metal bands of our generation has been in a news a lot lately, and for a reason they would rather not. Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe was just released from a Czech prison a week ago and fans have been waiting for his story.
On June 27th, Blythe was arrested by Czech authorities just after stepping off a plane in Prague. He was charged in connection with a fan’s death in 2010. According to Blythe’s Czech attorney, police believed that during a 2010 concert in Prague an audience member climbed onto the stage and the singer pushed him off, resulting in his head hitting the floor. The 18 year old fan later died weeks later from the alleged injuries. After spending more than a month in prison, Blythe posted bail twice and weeks later was finally released to return to the U.S.
In an interview with KROQ, Los Angeles’ The Kevin & Bean Show, Blythe shared his thoughts on the reasoning behind his arrest. He also explained how he spent his time in prison and the outpouring of support from fans and heavyweights in the music community.
“I don’t think the Czech police, or police in general have a pretty firm grasp on what a heavy metal show is like,” starts the singer. “There’s a lot of really questionable evidence about this young man’s injury. Regardless, I was charged with manslaughter.”
For the past month, fans have wondered why Blythe flew into Prague with an outstanding warrant waiting for him. According to Blythe, the Czech police wrote to the U.S. government and notified them of the incident and that they were looking into the case. The U.S. dismissed the issue for unknown reasons. Unfortunately for Blythe, “our Government never notified me. That’s kind of a big oopsie.”
Unaware of the charges, the band was greeted by a SWAT team upon arriving in Prague.
“I understand if our government didn’t want to comply cause they didn’t think it was worth their time, but they could have let me know. I mean if the IRS can find me and the Justice Department can’t, our country’s in trouble,” joked Blythe.
Questioned about the surprise he must have felt, Blythe admitted to being in shock. “It looks like, from the people they’ve sent to come get me, they’re there to pick up al-Qaeda.”
“So I see all these guys with great big guns and I look at my bass player and I start singing Kool & The Gang ‘There’s a party goin’ on right here…’ and he goes, ‘No dude, this isn’t a party.’ This is not good.’”
After being held in prison for a few weeks and his band having raised the bail amount, the Czech prosecutor objected, resulting in the doubling of his bail amount to “about $400,000.” The prosecuting attorney was yet again unhappy with how easily bail was posted and objected once more. Blythe ended up sitting in jail for another week before finally being released.
Blythe shared that he’s unhappy with the lack of U.S. intervention yet admits that the “Czech legal system is really messed up.”
While held in prison, Blythe had little knowledge that the world was watching and a groundswell of support was building. He explains, “I had minimal news of the progression of my case cause almost nobody in there spoke English and I couldn’t read a Czech newspaper.” He chuckled as he explained how he was updated by other prisoners speaking in broken English, saying “I’d come out to our hourly walk and they’d be like ‘Ozzy Osbourne said something good for you.’”
Unfortunately for Blythe and his band, they’re not out of the woods yet. The singer has chosen to face his accusers if required. “It could be right before Christmas, it could be right after or the beginning of next year. If I have to go, I will go.”
Lamb Of God will get back music this summer with a full plate of concerts ahead of them including the Mayhem Festival and Slipknot’s Knotfest.
– Jay Tilles, CBS Local